I’m writing this in the upstairs home office of extremely generous friends who live about 30 minutes from us on the other side of Louisville (thanks, Rick and Holly!). I’ve set up my PC on a card table and am hooked into their cable; my kids are playing their Wii and using a laptop. I’m getting ready to check my email and do some work.
Why are we here? Because on Sunday, the 80 mph remains of Hurricane Ike came to the midwest and knocked the hell out of southern Indiana and the Louisville area. Our power went out Sunday morning as trees began to fall. My mom has a tree through her roof. If we’d been home when the worst winds hit, both of our cars would have been totalled by the immense tree limbs that landed in our driveway. As of this morning, power is still out for nearly 50,000 people in our area of Indiana and more than 200,000 in Louisville. All the schools are closed and may be closed the rest of the week. Every neighborhood is full of downed trees and littered with leaves and branches; power lines dangle from snapped poles.
Yesterday my husband and I went for a walk and saw an enormous tree lying across a road less than a mile from our house; it took down about 200 feet of lines. In a nearby neighborhood another huge tree was snapped and leaning on its neighbor; more power lines were coiled on the grass. This is the reality all around us.
Before we came to visit our friends in their electrified sanctuary, we cleaned out our refrigerator and freezers. Conservatively, $500 or so of food hit the trash: the most depressing part of this yet from my standpoint. We’re now eating out for every meal. Assuming it’s another couple of days before the power comes back, this little adventure is going to get very expensive. Not to mention that I’ll need to find places with plugs and wifi where I can try to get some work done.
For some reason the national news is ignoring our part of the world in their reports on Ike and its aftermath. But friends who’ve talked to folks in Texas and other areas report that we were hit harder than areas more directly in the original hurricane’s path. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen or dreamed could happen. It’s a crazy nightmare situation. I’m trying to be relieved that we didn’t lose our phone or water, and that our house wasn’t damaged; but optimism is tough right now.